New Research: Do Americans Really Oppose Increasing The Gas Tax?

Politicians say it all the time - "Americans will never stand for a gas tax increase", but how do they know? A survey of 1,500 adults under the direction of Mineta Transportation Institute found otherwise. A VMT fee and sales tax was also surveyed.

1 minute read

June 27, 2011, 12:00 PM PDT

By Irvin Dawid


"The survey results show that a majority of Americans would support higher taxes for transportation-under certain conditions. For example, a gas tax increase of 10¢ per gallon to improve road maintenance was supported by 62% of respondents, whereas support levels dropped to just 24% if the revenues were to be used more generally to maintain and improve the transportation system."

Co-author Professor Weinstein, Director of Mineta Transportation Institute's National Transportation Finance Center, announced her study on a Commonwealth Club panel discussion, "U.S. Transportation Infrastructure: Buying the Future" on June 24 in San Francisco. Panelist Steve Heminger, Executive Director, SF Regional Metropolitan Transportation Commission, offered his own suggestion - a sales tax on gas to replace the gas tax to capture the increased revenue if gas prices rise.

Mr. Heminger warned that unless the transportation bill is reauthorized by Sept. 30, the current 18.4-cent federal gas tax will expire.

Thanks to Commonwealth Club

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 in Mineta Transportation Institute

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